Fueling Up The Self Worth Tank

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

From the oh so wise Poppy:

“Soooooo, here’s the challenge: Fill up someone else’s self worth tank. Let’s say nice things about how awesome each other is so that we feel like our existence on this planet is not a waste of space, time, and energy. If you’re strong enough to say nice things about yourself, then do that too.”

That’s just a handful of sentences in a very smart post you should probably go read, but it’s enough to explain what I’m doing here.

Occasionally I get the urge to send random emails to people saying “by the way, you’re awesome, just so you know.”  I actually had that urge this morning and remembered Poppy’s post and figured I’d do better than that and make it public.

Just A Few Of The People That Miss Britt Likes, Respects, Admires Or Just Plain Thinks Are Awesome:

Finn - you know how some people are just good, through and through?  That’s Finn.  She’s genuine and kind, but more than that, she is a million times more mature than I am.  I kind of follow her around because she is always lightyears ahead of me on the “learning to find balance in life” thing.  I have a crazy amount of respect for her.  She does such a great job of staying centered and keeping her priorities straight, something that I am constantly struggling to get better at.

Maria - since the first time I met her, I’ve found myself often just sitting in awe of this woman.  She is that rare combination of kind and funny.  But what amazes me the most about her, what puts her on my list of Women I Respect Most In This World, is that she is constantly looking inside herself to find answers.  If her life or an event in her life isn’t going well, she doesn’t run around pointing fingers at what everyone else is doing to contribute to her unhappiness.  Instead, she does the harder thing, the painful thing, and looks at what’s going on inside her own head and heart.  I don’t think she realizes sometimes that this single act, this tough choice that she makes over and over again, is a unique sign of strength.  I get the feeling she doesn’t even know it’s a choice that she’s making, because persona responsibility is just that deeply ingrained in who she is.

Barbara - I’m not sure I’ve ever met another person who made me feel so fiercely that “this is who I want to be when I grow up.”  Barbara gave up a successful career in corporate America to travel around the world, simply because it made her happy.  It hasn’t been easy and she’s faced many of the consequences that keep many of us from making similar decisions, but she presses on anyway.  She is one of the most courageous people I’ve ever had the good fortune of meeting.

Faiqa – it almost feels like a cop out to include Faiqa on this list, because I think everyone who has ever met this woman admires her, but I think it’s important to never assume that the people who deserve our praise the most get enough of it.  Yes, she’s pretty and smart and funny.  But you know what?  So are a lot of people.  What makes Faiqa so truly sacred to me is her integrity.  She is one of the most ethical people I know – and I admire it all the more because I know that staying true to her integrity is a conscious choice she makes over and over again, and not just something that “happens”.  She told me recently that we should all be careful about whose approval we seek, and I can say unequivocally that this woman’s approval is something worth striving for.

Poppy – the fact that Poppy inspired this post has nothing to do with her making an appearance here.  What she doesn’t know is that at least once a week I find myself telling someone else about how much I respect her.  When I’m struggling to hang on to my own sense of self, this is the woman I call.  Not because she knows me better than I do, but because she knows herself better than anyone else does.  She is committed to knowing and appreciating herself, and she makes no apologies for that.  She is one of the few women I know who can say with confidence, “I know who I am and I love who I am – and that’s enough.”  I am constantly hassling her with phone calls and emails, not so that I can be more like her, but so that I, too, can learn better how to be a more authentic version of me.

Becky – anyone who knows me will not be surprised to see Becky’s name on this list.  I make my adoration of this woman well known on a constant basis.  She is the only person I’ve ever known whose pureness of heart rivals Jared’s.  Becky’s gift to the world is unadulterated joy, and she gives of it freely to friends, family and strangers.  This is the woman I call when I need to cry or vent or rage about the injustices of the world, simply because I know that she is strong enough to take it.  I never have any doubt that my own venom will taint  her goodness, and I know in the end that she will help me find my way back to love.  Everything you need to know about who Becky is can be seen in her love of dandelions.

Cissa - this may seem like an odd inclusion, because Cissa and I aren’t exactly friends.  In fact, that’s specifically why I’ve added her here.  I haven’t been able to get her out of my head for the past couple of days.  You see, when Cissa moved to Central Florida a few months back, she went out of her way to befriend me.  I?  Basically ignored her.  I simply wasn’t in a place in my life where I could invest the energy necessary to become better friends with someone I didn’t know well.  Naturally, Cissa was hurt – I mean, who wouldn’t be?  But what amazes me, looking back, is that she didn’t take that hurt and channel it into some kind of blind rage.  She didn’t launch some “Miss Britt is SOOOO mean!” campaign (at least, not that I’m aware of, lol) or any of the other things that most of us naturally do when we have reason to feel rejected.  Instead, she “put on her big girl panties” (as she describes it) and got the fuck on with her life.  She recognized pretty quickly that if I couldn’t appreciate her friendship, I wasn’t worth fretting over.  It may sound odd to applaud or respect someone for that – but think about how fucking hard that is to do for a lot of us.  The more I think about, the more I am in awe of her emotional maturity and the more I respect the way she responded to my inability to give back to her.

Of course, the irony is that I look back on that now and think “damn, Britt, that is probably the type of person you actually want in your life, dumb ass.”

Regardless, she has my immense respect and admiration.

Father Muskrat – I usually describe this guy, simply, as “a good egg”.  He adores his wife and the two of them together represent one of those couples that you cannot help but envy because they are both just supremely awesome people.  I can’t exactly put my finger on what I like so much about him, but I have been dying for my husband to meet him since the first time I had a face to face conversation with him.  He’s one of those people you find yourself proud to be friends with and saying “you have got to meet this guy, he’s just really, really great.”  Yes he’s smart and funny and has never lost a case, but none of that is what makes him a stand out for  me.  I think it is the soft heart that lies underneath all of that and his genuine desire to do right by his fellow man.

If ever you’re in need of a real life role model in your life, I highly recommend hitching your wagon to one of these stars.

If you don’t see your name on this list, you will probably think this is the most. boring. post. ever. – but hopefully you don’t see it as a sign that you are not awesome.  As my oh so wise friend Faiqa always says, a compliment to one thing does not necessarily equate to an insult or disregard of another thing.

Thanks for the idea, Poppy.  It’s amazing how damn good it feels to love up on other people.

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  1. I know I rarely comment (but I’m always reading! However, I have a genetic anomaly that renders me incapable of leaving original comments that don’t end up little more than “great post, cute pics, super-neato idea!, but I think this is a bloody brilliant idea, especially in a time when people are incessantly bitching about how narcissistic mommy-bloggers, or bloggers in general, are!

    I think I needed to read this today! I’m off to get off my ass and go fill up a few self-worth tanks! Thanks for this, Britt!

  2. avitable says:

    People who inspire you to be better are some of the best friends in the world to have.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @avitable, I’m kind of thinking that they are probably the ONLY friends to have. Because, really? Why ELSE would you let someone into your life?

  3. Poppy says:

    I love seeing awesome words about other people, the profoundly positive effect they have had on others. Their guardians would/should be so proud of the people they helped shape.

    And we should be proud of the people we’ve become, the people we WERE, and the people we strive to become.

    Lalala, it’s green beer time! :) Cheers to all our inspirational people!!!!!!

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Poppy, the people we were, indeed. Like Dawg said in his post today, it’s always good to be able to remember where you’ve been – good, bad, or otherwise – because it helps you appreciate where you are now, and all of the choices that help you get there/here.

  4. Sweeny says:

    yay, i didn’t make the list of worthwhile people! life accomplished.

  5. SciFi Dad says:

    I’m not familiar with many of the people here, but I will agree that Faiqa is pure, undistilled awesome. Muskrat’s OK too, if a little too easily offended by swearing (or, as he calls it, “cussin’”).

  6. That’s a cool idea!

  7. muskrat says:

    Wow…I was wondering why you had a twitter mention of those other fine folks and me. Now I see…

    Thanks for the shout out. Given your hugenormous network of online and offline friends, I feel undeservedly privileged for making this short list. But I do appreciate it.

    Oh, and the feeling’s mutual, btw.

  8. Maria says:

    Dude.

    Thank you.

    I needed to hear these things today.

    I have a million more things to say. We need to get coffee or lay in a hammock on the beach or something and just talk.

  9. Sarcastica says:

    What an amazing post! I loved Poppy’s post the other day, it’s a good idea. I often send out emails to people randomly just to let them know they are awesome. ;)

    P.S. You’re awesome :)

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Sarcastica, heh, thanks. And as I was just telling someone this morning, I think senders of the random “you’re awesome” emails are some of the finest folks on the planet. So – good for you.

  10. Hockeymandad says:

    Awww, that was nice. Did you know I once loved up on you in my blog? http://hockeymandad.com/2010/01/17/that-was-fun/ Because you know, you help inspire me to write. You and your family are awesome.

    Not that I’m asking for anything in return. Honestly. Those people in your list, at least the one’s I’ve met, are VERY awesome indeed.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Hockeymandad, wow, how crappy am I that I didn’t even see that post until now? Man January was sucktastic for me as far as giving anything back to anyone. Damn.

      I’m going to be going through my reader in the next few weeks and being much more selective about blogs/people who build me up – and I know which list you’ll be on. I’m hoping that will help me be able to more wisely spend my attention on energy on people like you.

  11. martymankins says:

    I know 4 of these people on the list. Color me Yaylo!

  12. Nanna says:

    Well done, little one. Well done.

  13. Britt,

    I’m touched that you’d mention me. I’m actually at a loss right now, but thank you for it. You know I admire and respect you as well, clearly, or I wouldn’t still have you on my twitter and facebook. :-P

    And uh, anytime you wanna get together for coffee or lunch so we can talk, shoot me an email. Or maybe I’ll just hassle you til you say yes. heh.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Cissa Fireheart, while it wasn’t your intention at the time – your actions inspired me. So good on you, and keep doing what you’re doing. Those “right steps” matter even when we don’t see or know how.

  14. Tonz says:

    I thought this was a beautiful post and such a wonderful start to the day. When someone does something wrong, or we don’t agree with it etc etc, people are very quick to write about, talk about or whatever. We don’t do this enough…tell people what they mean to us or thank people, whatever. It felt good to read this post. It felt like it was putting positive energy out there.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Tonz, it’s sad, but it is SO much easier sometimes to get sucked in by negative energy. The rewards and long term consequences don’t feel near as good though.

  15. Finn says:

    Aw thank you, sweetheart. I’m beyond touched.

    And Poppy is a goddess. Period.

  16. Faiqa says:

    Thank you, my dear friend. The fact that you can recognize the goodness in others as well as your friends speaks volumes about you. You are loved, maybe not by all, but definitely by the ones that truly matter.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Faiqa, I’ve realized the last few days that there are few things that make you feel more honored than being loved by people you respect. So – thank you. And you’re welcome. :-)

  17. NYCWD says:

    I don’t see my name on the list and I found this one of the best posts I’ve seen in a long time.

    And that has nothing to do with the fact that my girlfriend inspired it… because she inspires me everyday so I know how awesome that inspiration can be.

    But there will still be no touching the Poppy.

    kthxbai

  18. Britt:
    You have absolutely no idea how much I needed this today. I am wandering through Mexico and have had a few semi-difficult days – blew my knee out and could barely walk, ferry schedule on the Internet bore absolutely no resemblance to the actual sailing schedule when I arrived to take the ferry across the Sea of Cortez to Topolobampo, so switched plans and sailed back to Mazatlan and took a 6-hour bus to Los Mochis, which turned into an 8-hour ride because of FIVE stops by the Policia Federal to search the bus. On top of all that, I got a little bad news from home, which was the icing on the cake.

    I was feeling sorry for myself and started wondering what I’m doing out here; I thought maybe I should just pack up and come back to the States. Then I read your post and I remembered why I’m traveling the world. I’m here because I used to hate my life; because I used to sell my soul every day. You made me remember that these days I am joyful most of the time, and that joy has no relationship to money. I have risked it all to be here and I just have to have faith that the Universe will not let me down. Thank you so much for including me in your list. It means so much to me.
    Sending you a BIG HUG from Mexico,
    Barbara

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Barbara Weibel, BIG HUGS back. And man, if I can even be just a tiny part of whatever the Universe is going to do with you? Shoot, you can’t ask for much more than that.

      You’re doing good things, my friend.

  19. Nothing boring about this. Actually provides tremendous insight into you.

    My mom has told me a number of times that the people around you–your friends–aren’t you’re friend out of charity. They are a reflection of you.

    This post seems to be a perfect example of that thought.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Amie aka MammaLoves, I think your mom is right.

      And that is not, sadly, always a good thing to realize.

      • @Miss Britt, Seriously? I’m appalled at the ridiculous typo I included in my comment. Illiterate followers are NOT a reflection on you.

        In all sincerity, why don’t you think it is good to realize that? These people you profiled…good souls.

        • Miss Britt says:

          @Amie aka MammaLoves, hahahahhahahha, I didn’t even notice.

          OK, seriously though – because sometimes you look around and go “shit, I’ve associated myself with some people that.. um… I kind of don’t like the reflection I’m seeing right now.” Not THESE people, obviously. :-)

  20. man, i wish more folks would do positive, uplifting posts like this. loved reading about some incredible people in your life. (although, dammit, i don’t really have time for more blogs and you are adding to my reader my introducing me to these obviously worthy folks.)

    thanks for the great stuff you said about me. although you totally said “taint” in what you wrote and made me laugh. TAINT!

  21. sue says:

    Excellent idea… hope it catches on!

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